While the Japanese economy is powered by numerous exports and industries, from cars to computers, perhaps one of its largest, if not most visible, industries is that of entertainment content such as anime, manga and video games. While we all love good content–it is, after all, king–not everyone is necessarily willing or able to pay for it. While in days of yore that mostly meant simply going without the latest publication of your favorite manga, today’s high-speed Internet has made, shall we say acquiring content easier than ever.
While countries around the world debate the issues of online piracy, free speech, and copyright law, Japan is taking a somewhat more aggressive stance (anti-piracy even has its own figures in Japan!). Nevertheless, stopping piracy completely is an exercise in futility, which is probably why the M.A.G. (Manga-Anime Guardians) Project is aimed more at changing hearts and minds than using legal action to stop those pesky pirates. In fact, they’ll even give you a special-edition illustration if you join!